Why I Don’t Watch Sports

Ian McIlwraith
Jun 3, 2018
Ian McIlwraith
Jun 3, 2018

If you’ve known me for any amount of time, one of the things you’ll quickly discover is that I don’t play or watch sports — and I never have.

But why have I ignored this staple of American culture? After all, it’s quite typical to get together with friends and hover around the TV for a couple hours while watching people play a rousing game of football.

It’s not that I’m against sports. In fact, I think they are a fantastic way to get exercise (if you play them) or a fantastic way to relax and spend time with friends (if you watch them). Nothing wrong with that.

The issue isn’t the event. It’s a personal reason: time.

I’ve always been the type of person to maximize the amount of time in a variety of situations. As I take on more and more responsibilities, the amount of time I have at hand goes down. When I’m not working, eating, or sleeping, there’s MANY different things I could be doing. I could watch TV shows, movies, play games, watch sports, watch YouTube, read books, hang out with friends, or just take an afternoon nap.

Yet, I only do few of those items. See, it’s not a matter of ethically not liking sports, it’s a matter of spending my limited “relaxing time” in the best way possible. People tell me all the time that I’d like this game or that show or a new movie, and I’m sure they’re right.

There’s lots of entertainment out there that I would drool over.

But I choose to not even try it, because I know that if I get into it, I won’t have time for the entertainment that is beneficial to me and my career. What entertainment could be beneficial? It could be educational YouTube videos, books, or just interesting research. I love doing all of those things.

If I get “addicted” to things like sports, I won’t have time for what really matters.

So while I miss out on some parts of life, I’m ok with that.

I do understand that sports can be a way to bond with friends and family. Again, that’s totally valid! Bonding time is incredibly important. However, I prefer to get to know people in a extremely relaxed environment, most of the time over a coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. Just a one on one, no time constraints, no referees whistling in the background. Those moments are the moments I cherish the most in life.

I’m not going to be able to be invested into everything. The people who love playing and watching sports don’t work an unhealthy amount of hours like I love to do.

It’s simply a matter of what you want to spend your finite amount of time on.

To round this thought out, imagine that you had to pay for your time. Every day you woke up and had to shell out more money for the day, each hour costing you money. Everybody has to pay the same amount, but it’s up to you how you utilize the money you spent to max. Wouldn’t you treat “free time” differently?

That’s how I view entertainment. There’s only so much time I have for it, so I better spend it wisely. The way I’ve chosen isn’t typical, but neither is my lifestyle. And that’s ok, because it’s me. Not you.